The party returned to Gainesville just as new Florida Gators head coach Dan Mullen had hoped for in his coaching debut for the Gators as UF stomped all over visiting Charleston Southern 53-6 on Saturday night in the swamp. What was labeled as a cupcake style contest wasn't even close from the start as quarterback Feleipe Franks led the Gators on six scoring drives in just the first half alone.
Franks, who appeared in 11 games last season for the Gators, didn't waste any time in his first start of the season to prove why Dan Mullen named him the starting quarterback earlier this week. Franks first drive of the season was a scoring drive that went eight plays and seventy five yards where Trevon Grimes took a wide receiver screen pass 34 yards for the first score of the 2018 season just under 3 minutes into the game.
That was just the tip of the iceberg for the Florida offense as they would score four more touchdowns through the air before half.Franks hooking up with Tyrie Cleveland, Josh Hammond and two times in the end zone with Van Jefferson bolted the Gators out to a 38-0 lead at the half.
The Gators offense moved the ball extremely well against an under sized Buccaneers defense converting twenty first downs in just the first half. Franks' game was finished at the half as he wrapped up a solid game going 16-24 for 219 yards and five touchdowns.
Mullen and the Gators didn't take the foot off the gas in the second half as Kyle Trask found the back of the end zone on his second drive of the evening pushing the Gators lead to 48-0. Evan McPherson and Jorge Powell added a combined three field goals, and the Gators just simply routed the Buccaneers for an impressive debut by head coach Dan Mullen.
On the defenive side the Gators was a couple of fumble recoveries, an interception, and a pair of blocked kicks for the special teams including a blocked extra point on the Buccaneers lone touchdown score which added two points to the Gators scoring line.
Florida will welcome in Kentucky next week to the swamp to begin SEC conference play. The Wildcats have not beaten the Gators since 1986, and will be looking for the upset. You can catch the game at 7:30pm on WHNZ (1250AM) in the Tampa Bay area.